Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Reaper, "Dirty Sexy Mongol": The Maltese Andi

Spoilers for last night's "Reaper" coming up just as soon as I get a Bluetooth...

The CW sent out two episodes for review: the season premiere, and next week's "The Sweet Science." Yet "Dirty Sexy Mongol" was by far the most entertaining of the three. Weird how that works sometimes.

This one was a very good showcase for both Tyler Labine and Rick Gonzalez. Labine got the funny (and very nimble) dance-off scene with the rival for his "sister's" affections, as well as his great pained reaction to realizing he had talked her into saving herself for marriage. What Gonzalez does as Ben isn't as flashy, but his goofy-sweet approach to Sam's world is often even more amusing (and endearing) than what Sock's up to. I loved Ben refusing to put the bunny down long enough to pull the spear out of the post, as well as his confidence in knowing the Mongol would strike the Vietnamese restaurant (and that they could play Risk while they waited). And Ben dating a rebel demon has a lot of promise.

The Mongol didn't have a ton of personality, but they did enough with his learning curve and got him off-screen early enough that his scenes were fine. The rest of the time was spent on Sam's quest to find Alan, and on different people (Gladys, the Devil) sending demons after Sam to suit their own agendas. Satan taking out a pair of demons just to show Sam a lesson and scare away Alan was a great action-movie moment, even if I'm annoyed that the show has completely dropped the ambiguity about Sam's parentage.

It was also good to see Andi helping out Sam for once on Hell-related business. I still don't think the writers know what to do with Missi Peregrym, but having her join this show's version of the Scooby gang and offering a less juvenile perspective on soul-hunting seems as good a direction as any.

In other news, Ted gets fired, and I won't miss him. I'd like to think this means a return appearance by Curtis Armstrong as Russ (who I think would make a great Michael Scott-style boss), but if they haven't seen fit to bring him back by now, I'm not going to get my hopes up.

What did everybody else think?

19 comments:

Q Ball said...

Reaper and Chuck are two shows that I look forward to each week because they make me laugh and entertain me week in and week out.

This episode was particularly funny and I'm intrigued as to how that guy got out of a deal with the devil. This could be a good arc if the writers know what to do with it.

Sock never ceases to make me laugh because I know guys like him and I'm sure other people do as well. It's clear that the last few episodes of the first season is what this show is striving for again, let's hope it hits its stride soon. In the meantime though, Reaper has plenty of humor to fill the gap.

David said...

That whole "they seem to back-burner the better episodes" thing seems to be a recurring theme with mid-level rated shows. Scrubs being one of the more obvious.

As for this episode, I certainly liked it better than last week's. It had more going on for everybody. But I have not seen next week's episode, so I cannot speak to that one's entertainment level.

Jon Delfin said...

You loved Ben holding on to the bunny, and I found that vastly annoying. Your "goofy-sweet" was my "beyond stupid."

Last week, they disappeared Josie; now Ben's Cassidy (Kandyse McClure, sigh) has been similarly disposed of. Maybe Netflixing season 1 last week and building up all of that momentum of great episodes just before starting season 2 wasn't such a great idea. Here's hoping they turn it around.

Art Fleming said...

I really didnt like how they handled Sock talking his sister into waiting for sex till marriage. At first, hes honestly trying to give here a realistic picture of it, and then she just makes the decision to wait until marriage and than the scene just ends and that was it.

Andrew said...

I have always thought of Ben as the anchor of this show. Sock is hit or miss with the comedy, and pretty lacking in the pathos department. Sam is supposed to be our lead, but I find him to be kind of unlikeable at times with all his mopery, and he is pretty much never funny. But ben manages to be funny, sweet, smart, endearing and a little bit badass. I wish I had more friends like him.

Most importantly, he is the one who really keeps the show grounded in a little reality. If I was a female demon, I would totally be up on his junk.

Larry said...

Ugh. I am missing out as our DVR is recording Biggest Loser and Idol right now in Reaper's timeslot. Not sure it's wise to force my wife to pick only one of her two favoriteshows. I was hoping that Biggest Loser would reair during the week but that's not the case. Running Reaper again would be nice too, but it's probably asking too much of the CW.

jcpdiesel21 said...

I didn't care for this episode. There were some good tidbits throughout, but as a whole, I found it unsatisfying. Ben's obsession with the rabbit was dumb, but him dating a demon does actually give him something interesting to do and holds some promise. I liked Sock dealing with his new sister last week, but it felt tired this week, and I hope it's not a B-story in every single episode. And Sam and the gang continue to act so idiotically at times that it is frustrating.

David said...

Didn't Sock date a demon last season and sex with her took years off his life?

Anonymous said...

That was a succubus. This one appears to be a more general, non-life-sucking-during-sex demon.

orel said...

I was so sure you were going to use the Labine/Eriko/Shaggy Dude sequence as an excuse to link to FotC. Drats!

I can't really recommend _Reaper_ to anyone, as it is the kind of incompetently made show which you either a) tolerate because it gives you a chuckle, and you like the cast; or b) hate because the plotting and characterization is inconsistent, and you kind of like the cast.

I guess I fall into category a), at least at the moment.

Kensington said...

"I'm annoyed that the show has completely dropped the ambiguity about Sam's parentage."

This doesn't bother me. After all, what purpose did the ambiguity serve? If Old Scratch isn't his dad, what's the point, and I like how it makes potential battles of will between the two of them more plausible.

It gives Satan a reason and opportunity to do the unexpected once in awhile.

Anyway, this was a huge improvement over the season premiere.

Anonymous said...

Dang. I got caught off guard with the late return of this show, and I've missed the first two episodes. I've got my DVR set now, but the CW hasn't updated the full episodes sight. I've tried Hulu and Joost. Are the episodes online anywhere?

Alan Sepinwall said...

CWTV.com puts up the episodes, but not always right away (for the same reason you can't watch House on Hulu the morning after it airs).

Yemaya said...

Thought this was a great episode - I was thoroughly entertained for all of it - plus, a bunny! (Lucky the demons were of the non-Anya variety.) The parentage doesn't bother me either, because as the devil implied last week, it's no big deal anyway. Didn't he say something like "he has thousands of kids"? Which would make sense - he's been around forever and is the master of temptation, so ...

Elena said...

The whole is he his kid or not doesn't bother me, as the Devil lies, so I don't think we'll ever know for sure if Sam is his kid. I can see it going back and forth, now he's saying he is, then it comes out he's not, then its a maybe. Doesn't matter either way in the end, that's not way Sam is supposedly doomed to spend eternity in Hell. I like the guy who made it out, gives Sam something to strive for, and the Devil to manuever against.

F Ripper said...

I think the secret shopper's high review of Andi was a setup for Andi taking Ted's job as Work Bench manager.

Andi as boss, Andi as girlfriend, Andi as friend, Andi as Velma oooh drama

Anonymous said...

booger has made appearances on this show and they dont promote that????

no wonder the ratings stink

dez said...

(Lucky the demons were of the non-Anya variety.)

That would have been such an awesome shout-out if they'd used it, though.

I was so glad the demon was merely sniffing out Ben's suitability as a mate vs. his tastiness as a main course. It'll be fun to see Sam and Sock's reactions next week.

Goodbye, Ted. You were a massive tool and I won't miss you.

Billiam said...

Personally, I was hoping that the actual truth about Sam's parentage would be more complicated than being the son of the devil.
I hope they bring back his parents at some point and explain what is going on with them. I also wish the strike wouldn't have disrupted whatever story they were planning with Jessica Stroup last season.